The Impact of Stress, Social Support, Self-Efficacy and Coping on University Students, a Multicultural European Study

DOI: 10.4236/psych.2012.32022   PDF   HTML     9,815 Downloads   18,387 Views   Citations


The present study is a follow up study of 562 University students during a 12 month period, at Universities from the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, and Greece. The purpose of the study is to examine the impact of stress, social support and self-esteem on university students. To our knowledge, it is one of the very few, if not the only study, that examines those particular variables in a multicultural sample. The students completed at the beginning of the 12 month period a self reported scale about stress (the Daily Hassles questionnaire), self-esteem, and social support. During the second time the participants have also completed sections about University Satisfaction, and Coping Styles of Stress. The statistical analysis afterwards has shown that the levels of stress have been significantly reduced after the passing of the 12 month period (p < .001), as it was hypothesised. On the other hand Social Support has been significantly reduced during the passing year (p = .049), which confirmed the Null-Hypothesis. Furthermore the research has shown that the levels of stress are negatively correlated with the positive ways of coping, the levels of social support, self-esteem and University Satisfaction. On the other hand the levels of stress are positive correlated with the negative ways of coping, all above correlation have been proven to be significant (p < .005). Finally the country of studies has shown some differences in the levels of stress and in the rest of the variables of interest, particularly between the UK students and the rest of the other countries.

Share and Cite:

Lyrakos, D. (2012). The Impact of Stress, Social Support, Self-Efficacy and Coping on University Students, a Multicultural European Study. Psychology, 3, 143-149. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.32022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Bages, N., & Falger, P. R. J. (1997). Differences between information about type A, anger and social support and the relationship with blood pressure, Psychology and Health, 12, 453-468. doi:10.1080/08870449708406722
[2] Barlett, D. (1998). Stress: Perspectives and processes. Buckingham: Open University Press.
[3] Brewing, C. R., Furnham, A., & Howes, M. (1989). Demographic and psychological determinants of homesickness and confiding among students. Journal of Psychology, 80, 467-477.
[4] Brown, S. D. (1996). The textuality of stress, drawing between scientific and everyday accounting. Journal of Health Psychology, 1, 173-193. doi:10.1177/135910539600100203
[5] Clark, D. A., Hemsley, D., & Nason-Clark, N. (1990a). Personality and sex differences in emotional responsiveness to positive and negative cognitive stimuli. Personality and Individual Differences, 8, 1-7.
[6] Clark, D. A., Beck, A. T., & Stewart, B. (1990b). Cognitive specificity and positive negative affectivity. Complementary or contradictory views on anxiety and depressant. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 148-155. doi:10.1037/0021-843X.99.2.148
[7] Cosden, M. A., & McNamara, J. (1997). Self-concept and perceived social support among college students with and without learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 20, 2-12. doi:10.2307/1511087
[8] Fisher, S., & Hood, B. (1987). The stress of the transition to university: A longitudinal, absent-mindedness and vulnerability to homesickness. British Journal of Psychology, 78, 425-441. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1987.tb02260.x
[9] Fisher, S., & Hood, B. (1988). Vulnerability factors in the transition to university; Self-reported mobility history and differences as factors in psychological disturbance. British Journal of Psychology, 79, 309- 320. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1988.tb02290.x
[10] Goldberber, L., & Shlomo, B. (1993). Handbook of stress theoretical and clinical aspects (2nd ed.). Free Press.
[11] Goldman, C. S., & Wong, E. H. (1997) Stress and college students. Education, 117, 604-611.
[12] King, N. J., Ollendrich, T. N., & Gullone, E. (1991). Negative affectivity in children and adolescents. Relations between anxiety and depression. Clinical Psychology Review, 11, 441-450. doi:10.1016/0272-7358(91)90117-D
[13] Long, B. (1998). Stress management for school personnel: Stress-inoculation. Training and Exercise: Psychology in the Schools, 25, 318.
[14] Naquin, M. R., & Gilbert, G. (1996). College students’ smoking behavior, perceived stress and coping styles. Journal of Drugs and Education, 26, 367-376. doi:10.2190/MTG0-DCCE-YR29-JLT3
[15] Odgen, J., & Mtandabari, T. (1997). Examination stress and changes in mood and health related behaviors. Psychology and Health, 12, 289-299. doi:10.1080/08870449708407406
[16] Parkes, K. R. (1990). Coping negative affectivity and the work environment addictive and interactive predictors of mental health. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 399-409. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.75.4.399
[17] Rapolow, L. E. (1987). Plain talk about handling stress. New York: G. E. Editions.
[18] Ronan, K. R., Kendall, P. C., & Rowe, M. (1994). Negative affectivity in children. Development and validation of the self statement questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 18, 509-528. doi:10.1007/BF02355666
[19] Ross, S. E. B., Niebling, C., & Heckert, T. M. (1999). Sources of stress among college students. College Students, 33, 312-318.
[20] Saranson, I. G., Basham, R. B., & Saranson, B. R. (1983). Assessing social support: The social support questionnair. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 127-139. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.44.1.127
[21] Schwarzer, R. (1999). Self-regulatory processes in the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors, the role of optimism. Journal of Health Psychology, 4, 115-127. doi:10.1177/135910539900400208
[22] Steele, C. M., Spencer, S. J., & Lynch, M. (1993). Self-image resilience and dissonance: The role of affirmational resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 885-896. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.64.6.885
[23] Steer, R. A., Clark, D. A., Beck, A. T., & Ranieri, W. F. (1995). Common and specific dimensions of self-reported anxiety and depression: A replication. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 104, 542-545.
[24] Steptoe, A., Wardle, J., & Polland, T. M. (1996). Stress, social support and health-related behaviour: A study of smoking, alcohol consumption and physical exercise. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 41, 171-180. doi:10.1016/0022-3999(96)00095-5
[25] Steptoe, A., Wardle, J., & Polland, T. M. (1996). The European health and behaviour survey: The development of an international study in health psychology. Psychology and Health, 11, 49-73. doi:10.1080/08870449608401976
[26] Watson, D., & Clark, L. A. (1984). Negative affectivity: The disposition to experience aversive emotional states. Psychological Bulletin, 96, 465-490.
[27] Watson, D. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1063
[28] Wiebe, D. J. (1991). Hardiness and stress moderation: A test of proposed mechanisms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 89-90.
[29] Weidner, G., Kohlmann, C. W., Dotzauer, E., & Burns, L. R. (1996). The effects of academic stress on health behaviors in young adults. Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 9, 123-133. doi:10.1080/10615809608249396
[30] Wolf, V. V., Finch, A. J., Saylor, C., Blount, L., Pallmayer, T. P., & Carek, D. S. (1987). Negative effectivity in children: A miltrait-mul- timethod investigation. Journal of Consulting and clinical Psychology, 55, 245-250. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.55.2.245
[31] VanGalder, K. F., & Zagumny, M. J. (1999). Social and emotional self-perceptions among students with learning disabilities at vocational and liberal arts postsecondary institutions. Manuscript submitted for publication.
[32] European Report of Education 2001.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.